this is not what Al Gore had in mind when he invented the internet. A Jakarta
journalist obsessed with the death videos posted online by a Tokyo serial
killer starts following suit when he crosses into vigilante slayings. Soon thereafter, they strike up an unlikely
IM dialogue, but it is not what you would call a friendly rivalry. Things will
get bloody in the Mo Brothers (Timo Tjahjanto & Kimo Stromboel)’s Killers, which screens during the 2014 Sundance Film Festival.
unsuccessful attempts to bring down a well-heeled, politically connected sexual
predator short-circuited his career and indirectly caused his separation from
his wife. Watching the videos posted by Shuhei Nomura only further stokes his
anger management issues. It all finally boils over during an attempted mugging
(and worse). Suddenly, Bayu is in the
contrast, the sadistic and precise Nomura is a cold blooded killer. He gets sick satisfaction from killing, but
he plans each prolonged murder out to the last detail. However, Nomura will make an uncharacteristic
mistake or two, making their months of correspondence a rather chaotic time for
Killers might be too much even for
veteran midnight movie patrons. Some of the sequences with Nomura are downright
scarring, as well as scary.
Nevertheless, the Mo Brothers certainly know how to stage a hyper-violent
action sequence. For instance, Bayu has
a hotel getaway melee scene that ranks with the hallway fight scene in Park
Chan-wook’s Oldboy (the real one, not
the cheap remake). About as tense as genre films can get, Killers is an unrelenting white knuckle viewing experience from the
first frame up to the last.
its unseemly milieu, Killers features
a top drawer cast working at the peak of their powers. Japanese TV heartthrob Kauzki Kitamura is disturbingly
cold and creepy as Nomura, while Oka Antara’s Bayu broods like nobody’s
business. However, the finely nuanced Rin Takanashi (so exquisitely vulnerable
in Kiarostami Like Someone in Love)
gives the film some heart and soul as the prospective victim who starts to
awaken emotions in Nomura (that is definitely one of those goods news-bad news
kind of things).
the Mo Brothers definitely announce themselves as adrenaline charged filmmakers
to be reckoned with. Unfortunately, long
stretches of the film are just no fun to watch. Brutal but effective, Killers is specifically recommended for
experienced cult film connoisseurs when it screens again today (1/21) and
Thursday (1/23) in Park City, as well as this Saturday (1/25) in Salt Lake, as
part of this year’s Sundance Film Festival.
Labels: Indonesian Cinema, Serial killer movies, Sundance '14